Headline — 12 December 2015 — by Albert J. Ciego
Belizean authorities yank American dentist’s license

SAN PEDRO, Thurs. Dec. 10, 2015–An American dentist who was accused of falsifying documents to get medical credentials to practice dentistry in San Pedro at the Oceanside Dental Center, under the false name of Dr. Robert Bob Hall, when he was in fact John Robert Hall, was arrested and charged by San Pedro police with “making false representation.”

Hall, 54, was taken to the San Pedro Magistrate’s Court where he was read the charge. In court, he was ordered to surrender all his travel documents, and his medical credentials were revoked and he was forbidden to practice dentistry in Belize. He was then offered and met bail of $7,000 and ordered to return to court on February 12, 2016.

Oceanside Dental Clinic is located on the second floor of Four Sisters Plaza on Pescador Drive.

While in custody in San Pedro, Hall was visited by attorney Ellis Arnold, but yesterday in court, he appeared before Magistrate Sherigne Rodriguez unrepresented. Arnold told Amandala he is representing Dr. Hall, but as far as he was concerned, he has been released.

Assistant Superintendent Henry Jemmott, Commander of San Pedro police, reported that Hall was set to begin to work as a dentist at the new Oceanside Dental Center, which was to begin operation on Monday morning, but police intervened and ensured that the center did not open, and that Hall was prevented from working, after which he was arrested.

Jemmott stated that upon inspection, he noted that Dr. Hall had managed to obtain a trade license from the San Pedro Town Council under Belize Dental Connections Limited, the company name for Oceanside Dental Clinic.

Jemmott told Amandala that he was not sure how Hall was able to obtain the licenses without using his legal name. Police collaborated with the San Pedro Town Council and his trade license was revoked because a person cannot operate in the country under a false name; that is illegal, said the commander.

The San Pedro Sun, dated Tuesday, December 8, reported that prior to Monday, they had been receiving calls from concerned citizens who voiced their concerns about a dentist opening a new clinic on Ambergris Caye, citing that criminal charges had been placed against the dentist for seven counts of injecting semen into his patients’ mouths, and that they feel that the dentist, who had been disbarred in the United States, may be the same dentist who was to practice dentistry at the new Oceanside Dental Center, which was to begin operation on Monday. The San Pedro Sun went to the police with the information and concerns.

The Sun said that there was an investigation at the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Monday, November 30, to find out how Dr. Hall became licensed in Belize. According to the Director of Licensing and Accreditation at the MOH, Englebert Emmanuel, the MOH had no knowledge of such a dentist opening a practice in San Pedro, but confirmed that Dr. Hall had received a license from the Belize Medical Council Board, The Sun said.

The Sun also reported that the health ministry, on Friday, December 4, was still investigating the matter, but they said that so far, they hadn’t found anything wrong. Dr. Hall’s applications to be licensed from the Dental Council were legitimate and he came with good recommendations, they said.

According to The Sun, the MOH said that they will have to interview Dr. Hall, after which they will contact the USA Dental Board of North Carolina to obtain information about him and verify whether the allegations were true, and confirm that this is the same person against which the allegations have been made before making any decision.

Emmanuel told Amandala today that the Dental Medical Board operates on its own and would not know who is approved or disapproved for dental licenses, and that their only source of such information would be the Gazette or other such mediums. The Director of Licensing and Accreditation at the MOH has stated that they are responsible for Allied Health Professionals, which comprises doctors with varying specializations from a number of countries.

In Allied Health, the director said, they conduct evaluations and ensure that the professionals operate in their particular field of expertise and ensure that they and their quality of service meet the standards and requirements that have been established for those who practice in their field.

Also, when members of the public have complaints, they can go to the office of the Allied Health Professionals or call the MOH office, and after the complaint is made, the office carries out the investigation and forwards the problem to the Director of Medical Services, who is a member of various medical boards, where the complaints are aired and addressed.

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